United Methodists are still at the side of those in the Mississippi Delta who were devastated by flooding six month ago in early March. An article featuring one worker from the Mississippi Conference was published in The Bolivar Commercial. The Circuit Rider has permission to share the story below written by Courtney Warren.
Good Neighbors Needed to Help Those Affected by Flood
By Courtney Warren, The Bolivar Commercial, Cleveland, Mississippi
Photo right: Santarious Curb (left) and La Tia Penn (right) pictured on Aug. 8, 2016 during a meeting for case managers at the Mississippi Conference UMC office. The pair continues to support United Methodist disaster recovery following flooding in Mississippi Delta early March. Photo by Tamica Smith Jeuitt, Mississippi Conference.
Though the ground is dry and Bolivar County has not seen significant rain in quite some time, those affected from the flood in March are still trying to repair their homes long after waters receded.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief has not forgotten those in need and is working on a volunteer basis to help repair homes and offer assistance.
La Tia Penn, disaster case manager, said, "You don't need any background or experience to volunteer. Right now we're in our screening process and getting some volunteers. People are living in their homes with asthma and on oxygen tanks and they need people to come in and help clean out homes. We're looking for people to help rebuild things.
"There are several people who have received money from FEMA and have called people to come fix their homes but they've had a lot of scams happening. We're looking for new ways to help others. We just need people to be good neighbors."
The United Methodist Committee on Relief, known as UMCOR, is a non-profit, United Methodist Church ministry, which serves the purpose of helping provide relief to families and households who have fallen victims to disasters across the nation.
UMCOR is a service organization, which relies on the donations, support, and cooperation of various people and groups. Because whether it is rebuilding a home or rebuilding a person, the service members of UMCOR, are committed to serving those in need.
As of this month, there are still a number of people outside of their homes. There are families in their homes, being forced to live with mold; they have no insurance, no more financial assistance. There are households of elderly couples, left to do all the work by themselves; those unable to, are either forced out of their homes due to unsanitary conditions, or stuck in these unsanitary conditions.
"It's really important because the Cleveland and Bolivar County area is a small area. When people think of a small area they think of a united community. To see there are so many people unable to get the things they need to get their homes back to normal, there are so many abilities to help, we should have more of a family type community," said Penn.
Currently, UMCOR is partnered with the Bolivar County Long Term Disaster Recovery Committee, which serves the county as the only disaster recovery committee in this county.